Cokesbury's new "Grow, Proclaim, Serve!" children's Sunday school curriculum hopes to help the kids in your church "grow their faith by leaps and bounds."
Going beyond typical curriculum, "Grow, Proclaim, Serve!" has multi-media components such as a Facebook page for church leaders, teachers, and parents. The Grow, Proclaim, Serve website incorporates classroom management tools, secure forums, customizable registration forms, and complimentary resources such as articles, surveys, and photo management options.
"It has a bright, new contemporary feel to it," said Debby Stikes, Director of Discipleship at Griffin First UMC. "The centers are great. There is something for every kind of learner and something for every kind of Sunday School teacher from the seasoned veteran to the brand new teacher. It is easy to read, plan, and execute. It’s also wonderful to include a mission project for Sunday School!"
There's even a “Name Our Frog” online poll going on right now. (Just visit www.nameourfrog.com to submit a name suggestion for the Grow, Proclaim, Serve ambassador.)
“We’re delighted to launch this exciting faith-building experience for kids that will help them come to know God and love Jesus as lifelong disciples,” says Marj Pon, associate publisher for teaching and learning resources for the United Methodist Publishing House. “We truly want them to grow their faith by leaps and bounds."
The curriculum was designed for a variety of church sizes, age ranges of children, and teaching models with resources including a large-group/small group model for ages 3-6 and 7 & up, resources for babies and toddlers through tweens, "On the Go for Tweens" that offers a 1-year Bible survey with relevant magazine-style learning guides, One Room Sunday School option for churches with multi-age children in one group, and even music videos to enhance the stories.
Bethel UMC in Stockbridge uses the One Room Sunday School version of the curriculum.
"I like the resource book and the map," said Chanda White, children's minister at Bethel. "The kids are now able to hear and see where the Bible took place. I move them around the room from the map area, to the DVD/TV area, to the work area. As we are transitioning from place to place, we can move to the music CD."
Epworth UMC in Atlanta is using the Early Elementary version for children's Sunday School.
"It seems to be a good baseline for our age groups," said Cecily Stevens, children's minister at Epworth. "We have ages 3-9 in one room, but this one seems to work well."
There are similairities to Cokesbury's previous Sunday School curriculum Rock Solid, Stevens says, but she appreciates that there are more options and better graphics.
"Of course, one of the things I like best is the fact it is OUR curriculum!," said Stikes. "We United Methodists are connected, and to me, it is a wonderful thing to use that connection and support."
Visit http://www.growproclaimserve.com/ for more information.
--Sybil Davidson and Julie Solomon Backman